Two Weeks With Bodhi Linux 1.4.0

by Andrew on April 4, 2012 · 7 comments

in Reviews

Bodhi Linux 1.4.0 Review

Bodhi Linux is a fresh, Ubuntu-based, Linux distribution that utilizes the Enlightenment desktop manager and only needs 1.2GB of space for a fresh installation. Bodhi is a semi-rolling release with two primary goals. Bodhi Linux aims to promote user choice and provide a minimal environment. I’ve used it for several weeks now and, although it took some getting used to, I have been impressed by several of the features of Bodhi Linux 1.4.0.


I’ve always wondered why I have a battery indicator and other unecessary things on my desktop panel by default. Bodhi Linux addresses this issue by allowing users to select a profile. Bodhi Linux Profiles control the layout of the Enlightenment (E17) desktop. The profiles options are Bare, Fancy, Default, Desktop, Compositing, Laptop/Netbook, Tablet, and Tiling. I selected the Desktop profile while setting up Bodhi on my Dell XPS 400 desktop and the Laptop/Netbook profile option while running it on my EeePC 1001p netbook. The main difference is that each profile presents different gadgets and a theme according to hardware or user type designated by the profile. This makes each installation tailored to the users’ needs out of the box. Best of all this can be changed at any time by going to Settings — All — Settings — Profiles in the main menu.

Bodhi Linux 1.4.0 Profiles


I found very few applications installed by default on Bodhi Linux but I think that’s the point. I didn’t find this to be an issue because I usually have to install quite a few applications on any distro and I certainly don’t want one so bloated I have to remove applications. The applications installed were Midori, LXTerminal, PCManFM, Leafpad and Synaptic. Yes, that’s it.


Bodhi also takes a unique approach to adding applications. In the menu, go to Bodhi Linux — Add Software. This will open the Bodhi Linux AppCenter where you can install applications directly or by downloading. The Bundles options include Nikhila(a full featured bundle) and Pratibha(a lightweight bundle). I installed Nikhila which includes things like LibreOffice, gEdit, Transmission, xfBurn, and others (20 all together). The bundle worked well and installed the same way the individual applications did.

Bodhi Linux 1.4.0 App Center

Look and Feel

It’s unique, clear, crisp and after getting used to Enlightenment (e17) I was able to customize it to my needs. In the Settings part of the main menu you will find you can activate modules and gadgets, change themes and more. Another way to quickly change the look is the Profiles feature. I tried out all of the different profiles including Compositing, which featured some cool menu effets and a few other visuals.

As far as making the desktop look good, I really didn’t even scratch the surface. I thought I was making a decent looking desktop until I visited the Desktop of The Week part of the Bodhi Linux website. I’ve seen it over on my G+ stream but never checked it out. The Desktop of The Week submissions are amazing and I think a great way to involve the community.


This is a truly unique distribution that has a big future ahead of it. It seems to be growing quickly and has a very active community. I like the approach taken with the minimal amount of applications and overall snappy feel. The AppCenter worked as promised even though I didn’t use the Install Now option because I have Chrome installed. The Bundles are a useful start but I think having a wider selection of Bundles would be helpful. Overall I would not hesitate in recommending this distribution to a friend.

Have you used Bodhi Linux? What did you think?



Gerard April 5, 2012 at 3:34 am

Excellent distribution that just works.
Much prefer it to Ubuntu.
I have installed and used other E17 distros in the past but this is 1st time I have had no problems with crashes despite having installed many applications.

gulogulo April 5, 2012 at 8:22 am

I tried to use it on an old hp laptop but it often froze upon boot because of some acpi problem and the wireless was very flaky. I am now using debian xfce and my machine is flying and the wireless connection is rock solid. I can only recommend debian xfce.

Randy April 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I have used it and have it installed on a couple of our laptops! There is nothing better for netbooks! I love the speed and beauty of the os. However I have tried to use it on my main machine and i always run into some glich or another and end up removing it. The developers are always quick and helpful with support requests, but I can’t always spend the time figuring out the glitches. So in short I highly recommend it on a machine you are just using for normal tasks, but not on a work machine your using a lot of hardware on, or specialty software. If I could get it to run glitch free on my production machines, it would be my OS of choice!

Chad McCullough April 5, 2012 at 1:42 pm

It’s a great distribution that is very snappy and, so far, appears to be very stable. The only issue I have is that the wireless is a bit flaky but I’m not going to blame that issue on the distribution. My laptop, unfortunately, has the broadcom wireless chipset and it doesn’t always like to work with Linux. As a fan of Debian, I do wish it was based on that distro instead of Ubuntu but that definitely won’t keep me from using it.

Rex Djere April 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Great analysis Andrew! I’ve never used Bodhi Linux, but I might just give it a shot.

Flymo April 11, 2012 at 2:13 am

Great review, Andrew. Good to see the
We came across Bodhi version 1 about a year ago, played with the live CD and installed 1.1 a bit later.
Been upgrading regularly ever since, and very happy with it on a bunch of machines.
We mostly have slower/cheaper/older hardware; Bodhi runs solidly and reliably on all, but we occasionally hear of other people with problems – like to know why.
@Randy – there’s a Bodhi hardware Wiki page :-
Be good to learn which hardware causes you problems? We find that on our hardware Bodhi stability compares favourably with Ubuntu and runs in a fraction of the RAM on (eg) P3-700 cpus clocking at 350 Mhz with 256/128 MB RAM. Astonishing.
@Chad McCullough – heh! Debian! Good idea….
We have Jeff’s Bodhi ARM release running on a tiny Efika MX that drives our 32″ TV at 720p via HDMI. That’s Bodhi Linux built on a Debian ARM base.
@Gerard – that’s our experience too – not only the most stable implementation of the gorgeous E17 tried to date, but stable when measured against other mainstream distros that we’ve used. And fast!

Anders April 12, 2012 at 1:23 am

Installed it on my Acer Ferrari with 512Mb RAM. Everything works out of the box, including wifi and bluetooth. As a snappy and lean distribution on my laptop it´s perfect.

I think that Bodhi has taken 2 steps back and gained stability och speed.

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